Nick Israel and Staatbosbeheer agree on one thing. The Prinsendijk, where the poplars are still found today, is because of the row of poplars “one of the most characteristic dikes of Noord-Beveland”, and popular with walkers and cyclists, but not for long.
According to Staatsbosbeheer, the trees have reached old age and there is a good chance that branches will fall or even entire trees will collapse when there is a lot of wind. This creates dangerous situations for road users. The nature manager writes in a letter to local residents that new specimens will be returned for felled trees.
‘Hood was already known in April’
The fact that the inhabitants were not informed until just before the start of the works must be qualified by Karel Leeftink of Staatsbosbeheer. “” I must qualify the image that local residents were informed very late. Already in April of last year, the municipality announced that a permit had been granted for logging. Trees were also ‘mopped up’ for a long time, ”meaning that cut trees were marked for a long time.
Staatsbosbeheer wishes to replant a new specimen for each tree felled. But Nick Israel doesn’t have much faith in it. He also does not want to go along with Staatsbosbeheer’s argument for cutting down trees.
“At the beginning there were two rows of poplars along the dike. One at the top, directly along the road, and one at the bottom of the dike. The fact that this inner row, near the road, was cut a few years ago, Israel has understood perfectly. But he does not accept that the trees at the foot of the dike can also constitute a danger. “These trees are so far from the road that nothing is right.”
Be more selective
Nick no longer expects his petition to stop the hood. One day after departure, it has already been signed over 400 times. If he can’t stop the hood with him, he hopes to send a signal with him.
He hopes that the Forestry Commission will not act as rigorously next time as it does today. “I understand that from time to time a tree has to be cut,” he explains. “But then do it selectively. And try to think creatively a little bit about how you can save a tree instead of taking the easy way to cut all the trees down at once.”